A flavour chaser's guide
Posted on 8 August 2016 by Matt Brown.
Are clouds not your thing? More interested in maximising the flavour of your vape than increasing the vapour itself? Fear not - our handy guide will help.
When people discuss optimising their vaping setup, more often than not it's to improve vapour production. For those who love vapour above all else, cloud-chasing can become a way of life. For the rest of us, however, what really matters is how your vape actually tastes. Thankfully, just like cloud-chasing, it's possible to optimise your device to really make that flavour pop.
Wattage and Temperature
If e-cigs are known for anything, it's the range of options and flexibility they offer. This trait comes into its own when building your flavour chasing setup. The fastest way of tweaking how your vape tastes is simply to adjust the settings offered by your device.
If you're using a JAC 510 Twist, try turning the voltage up or down in increments until you find the voltage which works best for you. While there isn't as much of a range of options available on these simpler setups, even experimenting with the available voltage settings available could be enough to turn a mediocre vape into a great one.
When using a Variable Wattage, such as the SERIES-B Tilt, you'll have a much greater range of power options to choose from, with the ability to dial down to the decimal point. With greater watts comes an increase in temperature, with many e-liquids performing much better when warmer.
The reason that the power setting makes such a difference is simply down to how e-liquid is made. Different flavourings used in e-liquid vaporise at different temperatures, so you may not be getting the full effect from your e-liquid at lower wattages.
E-liquids all perform differently at various temperatures, so when you've got a new e-liquid to try, it's often a good idea to play around with the settings on your device until you're happy.
While massive airflow is the friend of the cloud-chaser, we're more interested in flavour here.
- Lots of airflow is great for clouds. The resulting vapour is cooled, and more is produced, but usually at the loss of the flavour (though there is some debate around this).
- By restricting the airflow, however, you'll get a warmer, denser vape which increases flavour concentration.
Many tanks now come fitted with adjustable airflow, allowing the user to easily experiment on the fly. Next time you're trying to boost the flavour of your e-liquid, try shutting down the airflow a little until you're happy.
It's important to make sure that there is still enough airflow to adequately cool the coil, however. Too little, and the coil will become too hot and may burn the wick, producing a burnt acrid taste.
The wicking material used in your coil build is a very important factor in flavour production. Many pre-built coil heads use a silica fibre as a wick, which is fine and performs well enough, but to really maximise flavour, organic cotton is the way to go.
Cotton produces a much cleaner taste, which is less muted than through a silica wick. Even pre-built coils wicked with organic cotton are becoming more and more popular, and most tanks will now support at least one such coil.
Mouth to Lung vs Direct Lung
What kind of vaper are you - mouth to lung, or direct lung? If you don't know the answer, let us explain.
- Mouth to lung vaping is when the user draws first into the mouth, then inhales into the lungs. This is the most natural method of vaping, and is the same action as smoking a tobacco cigarette.
- Direct lung inhalation is when the user draws right down into the lungs in a single action, without holding the vapour in the mouth first.
To maximise flavour, mouth to lung is the preferred option, as generally MTL tanks produce a denser, warmer vape, while the vapour itself is held in the mouth for longer than with direct inhalation.
The ability to perform mouth to lung inhalation is dependent on the tank and coil you're using, however. Sub-ohm tanks with very low resistance coils and high airflow are not suited to MTL vaping in general.
PG vs VG
Don't forget that the e-liquid itself has a big part to play in flavour production. Once you've settled on the flavour you'd like to try, the next thing to consider is the PG/VG mix.
Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerine are the two main ingredients in most e-liquids, and both perform different jobs.
- PG is used as it's very good at carrying flavour, while at the same time delivering throat hit. On its own, however, it doesn't produce much vapour.
- VG generates lots of vapour but is less suited for carrying flavour. VG-heavy e-liquids tend to be more muted, and may taste more of the natural sweetness found in Vegetable Glycerine.
Replace your coil
It may sound obvious, but the condition of your coil will have an effect on flavour. A coil which has seen a lot of use will most likely be clogged with e-liquid residue. As the coil and the wicking material clog up, this residue will begin to affect flavour production.
If you've noticed that the flavour of your e-liquid is beginning to fade, it may be a sign that the coil needs to be replaced.
If you're using a tank which uses pre-built coils, simply swapping out the coil for a fresh one is a simple way of getting a quick flavour boost.
Tanks which allow the user to build their own coils, on the other hand, can be easily re-wicked and the coils pulsed to dry-burn off any dried on residue, which will help to restore flavour.
The scourge of vapers everywhere, vapers tongue is a relatively common condition which affects most of us at one time or another.
Vaper's tongue refers to a loss of the sense of taste, which often happens after using the same flavour for extended periods. After a while, your taste buds simply won't respond in the same way anymore, dulling the taste.
A simple solution to this is to switch to another flavour for a few days before going back to the e-liquid. Many vapers choose to rotate between a few different flavours throughout the day, which helps to stave off any one flavour becoming muted.
Like a fine wine, e-liquid often tastes better once it's been allowed to age properly. This process is known as steeping.
E-liquids will naturally steep over time, with the liquid turning darker in colour, and aroma and scent developing the longer the bottle is left alone. When a bottle of e-liquid reaches you, it's most likely had a good length of time on the shelf where it has been able to steep.
The longer you can steep an e-liquid, however, the better and sometimes you may receive a bottle which is from a particularly recent batch. This may mean that the flavour hasn't fully matured.
It's possible to speed up the natural steeping process, though, with a few simple steps you can follow at home.
- Remove the cap from the bottle and then place it somewhere warm and away from direct sunlight.
- After a few days, the liquid will have darkened and the flavour improved.
- It's also a good idea to agitate (shake) the bottle every so often to help mix the liquid, though remember to replace the cap before you do so.
If you really want to boost the steeping process, placing the bottle in a warm (not hot) water bath for a short period has also been known to help.
The main thing to help improve your vaping experience, however, is to remember that it's just that - your vaping experience. No one method is ever going to work for everyone, as we all are looking for different things from an e-liquid.
Experiment with your settings and setup and you'll soon be getting the best flavour possible from your e-liquid.